Director for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism of Liberia (MICAT) Mr. Darius D. Gweh, disclosed that ALIPH has accepted to give the information ministry an emergency grant for cultural heritage development.
MICAT, in collaboration with the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in conflict areas has begun the grant process to establish a tie in the wake of the global pandemic.
Director Gweh said ALIPH will support the heritage protection sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic initiated financial support for the most vulnerable organizations to assist them overcome the crisis, adopt digital tools or implement urgent preventive protection measures.
According to him, ALIPH’s contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was elaborated following discussions with ALIPH’s partners and will be implemented in concert with international organizations, foundations, cultural and academic institutions, namely; ALIPH, Chemin de Balexert 7-9, 1219 Vernier, Switzerland- a Swedish based organization in the protection of the heritage sector.
Gueh told reporters in an interview that MICAT was created by an Act of Legislation in 1965 and later reorganized under Decrees 46 & 47 of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC).
Speaking further he said, one key component of MICAT is to protect, preserve and promote all Government of Liberia’s cultural policy; to promote a progressive, inclusive and egalitarian society characterized by respect for diversity, equity and social justice, drawing largely from the national cultures, values and traditions; while safeguarding and promoting cultural linguistic and religious diversity with a view to reviving and strengthening cultural understanding, national consciousness and the enrichment of the Liberian identity.
He also said that the COVID-19 pandemic is already having a significant impact on the protection of cultural heritage in conflict areas, through the postponement of planned work and the potential destabilization of the local economic and social fabric, noting, this health crisis may lead to deeper and lasting transformations in the cultural heritage sector.
Mr. Gweh indicated that ALIPH COVID-19 Emergency Grant would help alleviate the financial challenge stems from the fact that many cultural workers and artists have lost their source of income. Besides, he said the cancellation of all activities caused hardship for small and medium size businesses, which are the major stakeholders under the cultural sector of the country.
Director Gweh further stressed that besides adapting its support for ongoing projects, ALIPH has set up a complementary support mechanism for local operators in the heritage sector in conflict or post-conflict areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed support mechanisms should meet urgent needs, while taking into account foreseeable long-term transitions. ALIPH has set up an extraordinary relief fund to support the heritage sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He thanked ALIPH for the support and looks forward to more collaboration and partnership that will boost the preservation, protection and promotion of the cultural heritage segment of Liberia. Editing by Jonathan Browne